Media Mornings: Mon, May 20—Toghestiy & Freda Huson (Unistoten blockade), Meaghan Rhoad (Human Rights Watch), Bridget Tolley (Families of Sisters in Spirit), Byron Cruz (Sactuary Health)

W2MEDIA.CA  |  Listen to today’s broadcast of Media Mornings on Vancouver Co-op Radio 100.5 fm:

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Indigenous leaders from Unis’tot’en and other clans are refusing access to pipeline crews for the Enbridge Northern Gateway, Coastal Gas and Pacific Trail pipelines. This spring, they are expanding the defense of their land with traditional pithouses on the Wedzin Kwah (Morice River) in the path of the pipeline (photo: Forest Action Network)
  • 04:00 — Today’s top news headlines (see below)
  • 37:50 — Interview with Wetsuwet’en Nation land defenders Toghestiy (Hereditary Chief, Likhts’amisyu Clan) and Freda Huson (spokesperson for the the Unist’ot’en “protectors of the headwaters” Clan) on the ongoing Unist’ot’en blockade against natural gas fracking and the Pacific Trails gas pipeline through their territories, and their construction of a pit house and permaculture garden on the pipeline route.

  • 51:30 — Interview with Byron Cruz (migrant justice organizer & health worker, Sanctuary Health Vancouver) on the struggle for access to health care for undocumented migrants, temporary foreign workers and refugees — including post-BC election efforts for the province to extend health coverage to all residents and workers in the province.
  • Music: We Are The City (“Baptism”), Broken Bells (“The High Road”), A Tribe Called Red (“Electric Intertribal”), Michael Franti & Spearhead (“Bomb The World”)

TODAY’S TOP NEWS HEADLINES

  • TOP STORY: CANADA: SENATE EXPENSE SCANDAL — Nigel Wright, Stephen Harper’s right-hand man, has quit his post, saying he takes “sole responsibility” for his $90,000 payment to Sen. Mike Duffy. Wright confirmed he was quitting because of the furor surrounding his payment to Duffy, meant to cover the senator’s repayment of improperly claimed expenses. On Friday, Sen. Pamela Wallin quit the Conservatives caucus as she awaits the outcome of an audit into her own travel expenses (TORONTO STAR).
  • VANCOUVER: ANTI-GENTRIFICATION ARSON — Mayor Gregor Robertson has expressed “significant concern” after Vancouver police confirmed arsonists attacked a new home in East Vancouver in a blaze for which anti-gentrification anarchists are claiming responsibility. The targeted home, a nearly completed development, was mostly destroyed, and neighbouring homes sustained minor fire damage. In a posting entitled “Fire to the Condos” on an anarchist news website, the same group that claimed responsibility for recent “anti-gentrification” attacks on Eastside businesses took credit for torching the new home (PROVINCE).
  • BC: RCMP MISSING WOMEN INVESTIGATION — A civilian policing watchdog is launching an investigation into the conduct of RCMP officers in northern B.C. who have been accused of mistreating aboriginal girls and women. The Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP announced the probe after the federal government asked it to review a damning report by Human Rights Watch. Released in February, the document contains unproven allegations by women and girls who say they were physically or sexually abused by police, including allegations of gang rape (VANCOUVER SUN).
  • TORONTO: ROB FORD ALLEGATIONS — The leader of a national gay rights advocacy organization and the only openly lesbian member of Toronto’s city council both say Mayor Rob Ford should resign if he used an anti-gay slur while smoking crack cocaine. Ford cancelled his usual weekly radio show yesterday, and Ford has turned down three chances to address any of the specifics of two media reports about the cellphone video (HAMILTON SPECTATOR, TORONTO STAR).
  • MANITOBA: ELIJAH HARPER REMEMBERED — Condolences are pouring in for Aboriginal leader Elijah Harper who died Friday morning. Harper is best known for standing up against the Meech Lake Accord. He was recognized as Newsmaker of the Year by the Canadian Press in 1990 for raising an eagle feather while refusing unanimous consent of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly. Harper, backed by Indigenous Peoples who decried being left out of the accord talks, managed to delay Manitoba’s ratification in time to cancel the deal (APTN).
  • CANADA: RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL DOCUMENTS — An Indian residential school survivor has issued a challenge to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt to review archival files that prove the government of Canada deliberately destroyed residential school documents (APTN).
  • USA: GOVERNMENT SEIZES NEWS RECORDS — The Obama administration’s decision to seize phone records from the Associated Press news service was “unconstitutional” and sends a message that “if you talk to the press, we are going to go after you”, the news agency’s boss Gary Pruitt said yesterday. AP revealed last week that the Justice Department had obtained two months’ worth of phone records of calls made by reporters and editors without informing the organisation in advance. The move was an apparent effort by US officials to identify the source of a story about the CIA foiling an alleged terrorist plot by an al Qaida terrorist affiliate in Yemen (GUARDIAN).
  • CLIMATE: CANADA CRITICIZED IN EUROPE — According to the world’s most prominent climate scientist, James Hansen, major international oil companies are buying off governments. T he former head of NASA’s prestigious Goddard Institute accused the Canadian government of acting as the industry’s tar sands salesman and “holding a club” over the UK and European nations to accept its “dirty” oil During a visit to London this week (GUARDIAN).
  • SYRIA: ARMY ATTACKS REBEL STRONGHOLD — At least 51 people are dead after the Syrian army attacked the rebel held central town of Qusary. Reports say fighters of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement assisted the military. If the military overpowers rebels, it will be a very strategic win as the town connects Assad’s seat of power, Damascus,with towns on the coast (AL JAZEERA).
  • NIGERIA: ARMY BLOCKADES BOKO HARAM — Amid a major offensive in three northeastern states against Boko Haram fighters, the Nigerian army has blockaded the base of the group. Amnesty international accused Nigeria’s security forces of carrying out widespread abuses in their campaign against Boko Haram, including extra judicial killings, disappearances and torture (BBC, AL JAZEERA).
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